Tucked away at the Total petrol station on Lower Kabete Road in the Spring Valley Shopping Centre is a small, cozy and unassuming little cafe that has the finest artisanal coffee in all of Nairobi.
What once started off as a bakery baking fresh bread and pastries, served alongside delicious fresh coffee, in July 2009 by Jessel & Sajan Dhanani’s parents has now turned into a quaint, little café, once the boys took over. Their interest and love for coffee were evident as they turned the bakery into a cafe, that now is a popular place that’s perfect to grab a cup of quality coffee with a pastry or my favorite – their freshly-made eggless waffles with an assortment of toppings.
Speaking of coffee, their fine-quality beans are roasted in-house. In fact, they admitted to me that they even burnt a few batches of good coffee as they learned to perfect the roast profile to ensure the freshest coffee. In fact, they are also the pioneers of bringing cold brew coffee to Nairobi with their popular Conc NBO cold brew, which I had first tried at Wasp & Sprout.
I had been to Spring Valley Artisanal Coffee before. Once for a vegan breakfast, back when they offered a few more breakfast options, and another time for a quick cup of coffee.
This time, Diva and I popped in for a quick breakfast. It had been a long, stressful week for Diva as she had been studying for her A Level exams. So I thought this little visit would be a nice treat after her tedious study sessions.We entered the small cafe located between the dry cleaners and the garage. There were two small tables on the patio by some potted green plants. Inside the cozy cafe can fit about 20 people. We opted for a table by the counter. A row of sofas run through one wall where small mirrors framed in Indian-themed architectural frames make the cafe look larger. Hanging lamps from the ceiling light up the room, especially on this gloomy day.Across the wall is some minimalistic décor. There’s a little bar area with a few chairs, great for grabbing a cup while getting lost in a novel. A round mirror in a circular frame that reminds me of the sun, hangs on top of the bar area. A few shelves lined with a couple of knick-knacks and the gourmet coffee beans tie the cafe’s look together. Minimalistic with a quirky edge make the cafe’s prime focus – the coffee – shine.Behind the counter, there were several pastries and a few bags of coffee beans, ready for a speedy purchase.
Having promised Diva a waffle date, we sat down and immediately started to decide on what to order. There were so many topping choices!
Diva wanted to top her waffles with whipped cream and strawberries. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing milk shortage, they had run out of whipped cream (and we could understand), so Diva ordered the same as I had – a waffle with Nutella and strawberries.
I wanted to order the Zanzibari Latte, a spicy latte with sweet notes of cinnamon-y goodness. One of my favorite coffees here, I love the fusion of the spices with the coffee flavor. Sadly, they didn’t have the drink so coincidentally, Diva and I ended up with the same order – Mochas. Like I haven’t stressed enough already😉, their coffee is pretty incredible and their Mochas were amazing.There is currently only one waffle maker, so I took the first waffle so Diva could cut mine into bite-size pieces while waiting for hers. I know, she’s really nice (no sarcasm hidden here #truth).The waffles were delicious, light and fluffy and the cinnamon added a subtle, sweet taste. The Nutella added a chocolatey, nutty sweetness, and the strawberries were a nice fresh element. I can see myself coming back here for waffles, every time the craving hits.
While we were seated there, the cafe slowly filled up, and I could truly see how busy they got. I thought the service would be slower as they got busier, but the service was excellent and all our needs were taken care of.
My only complaints: they’re only open Monday to Friday from 8AM-6PM and on Saturday from 8AM-3PM. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do if the craving for their fresh cup of hot coffee comes up on a Sunday…Plus, there’s a tiny step to enter the cafe. I’d really appreciate it if there is some sort of ramp so that I wouldn’t need any assistance getting in and out of the cafe.
I hear that while at the moment, the cafe sells wholesale coffee to well-known cafes across Nairobi, they plan to set up a second branch that will be a hallmark of the Spring Valley Artisan Coffee.
Satisfied and beyond full, Diva and I headed home and passed out into a food coma, unproductive for the rest of the day. Oops?! 🤷🏽♀️🙈
EDIT: I finally scored a Zanzibari Latte! Mmm…
Photos, unless stated otherwise, are by Diva Shah